Kitumusote's international volunteer program has enabled volunteers to leave Africa with a deeper understanding of the realities that face Africa today; poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, and gender inequality. They also leave with a newfound respect for their own environment- they understand the value of running water, electricity, and other exhaustible resources. They see the beauty of the Maasai people, the beauty of their natural environment, and learn lessons that will last a lifetime.
The volunteer program also helps support Kitumusote's operating budget with proceeds going directly toward its projects. The program is assisting Kitumusote's efforts to become a self-sustaining organization.
Requirements for Volunteers:
Volunteers should be at least 18 years of age and possess at least one year of college classes and/or a bachelor's degree in one of the following fields: anthropology, sociology, agriculture, business administration, medicine, environmental science, botany, international development, education, geology, forestry, ecology, or film studies. Volunteers should also be in good health and be ready to live and work in an environment where there is no running water and no electricity. Proficiency in English is also required. Volunteers should show strong initiative and interest in sharing knowledge with the Maasai.
Overview of Volunteer Program:
Our volunteer program is designed to allow volunteers an opportunity to integrate into local cultural and social life.
Kitumusote is looking for volunteers who can assist the organization with their ongoing projects that include:
- Wildlife Conservation New! : Must have a bachelor degree or higher in wildlife ecology or conservation or have direct experience in wildlife conservation.
- Environment education and training
- Women's Education: Reading, Writing, Art, Basic Health Care for women and children, Basic Arithmetic, English Language, HIV AIDS Awareness & Prevention
- Tree Planting and Tree/Plant Maintenance
- Activities for Children: Art, Performance Art, Story Telling, English Language
- Organic Agriculture: Garden maintenance, livestock cultivation
- Maasai youth filmmaking project: help the Maasai preserve their culture through cinema
Volunteers may also develop their own volunteer program and can send their ideas with their application. Ideas will be reviewed to make sure they are culturally appropriate and in accordance with chief values of conservation, preservation, education and knowledge sharing.
Mondulli Chini/Mondulli Juu
Home stay in Mondulli Chini: Kitumusote boarding facilities have in-door plumbing (in form of an outhouse), limited electricity and limited running water in Mondulli Chini. Mondulli Chini is a small village with a few restaurants, internet kiosks and convenience stores. It is located about 15 kilometers from the maasai village of Mondulli Juu. Volunteers are provided with room and board which includes three meals a day. If a hotel is preferred, we can assist with finding a safe and fairly priced residential hotel in Arusha. However, placement in a hotel means you are in charge of arranging all of your own meals and will have to take daily public transportation to Mondulli, about 45 minutes from Arusha. The town of Arusha houses many affordable restaurants and cafes, many of which serve Western as well as traditional African foods.
Home stay with a Maasai family: Mondulli Juu is a traditional Maasai village located in the hills above Mondulli Chini. You can live with a host family in a Maasai boma.Volunteers taking this option should be aware that the bomas are constructed out of mud and thatch, and fires are burned inside for warmth and cooking. There are no toilets nor running water so you must be prepared for bucket bathing and outdoor toilet use. Food will be prepared for you and it will follow the Maasai traditional means of nourishment that consists of milk, maize, beans, rice, potatoes, and meat. Volunteers are welcome to bring their own food and will be provided with kerosene cooking stoves, cooking pots, dishes and utensils.
Tented Camp: Volunteers can also set up tented camp. You will be provided with a tent if you choose this option. Volunteers are required to bring a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, pillow and any other essentials that will make the stay more comfortable. The Maasai will provide meals and you may also bring your own food.
Program options and fees:
Payment of Program Fees provides volunteers with the following: Swahili language training, full accomodation, and transportation to and from Maasai village site.
1. Three week program: $450 US dollars, not including round trip airfare, spending money and optional safari supplement. This program consists of an orientation upon arrival as well as a crash course in basic Swahili. Volunteers will be placed in the program of their choice and will have the option to spend the final four days of their stay on safari to Ngorongoro Crater and/or the Serengeti.
2. Six week program: $ 800 US dollars, not including round trip airfare, spending money and optional safari supplement. This program consists of an orientation as well as a crash course in basic Swahili. All volunteers will be placed in the program of their choice and are welcomed to share ideas for new projects at the orientation. A portion of their time can be spent working side by side with Kitumusote's director and learning the foundations of running a grass-roots organization. The last week consists of an optional four day safari to Ngorongoro Crate and/or the Serengeti as well as a pre-departure briefing and write-up.
3. Twelve week program: $ 1200 US dollars, not including round trip airfare, spending money and optional safari supplement. This program consists of an orientation with staff in Mondulli as well as a crash course in basic Swahili. Volunteers will be placed in the program of their choice and are encouraged to share ideas for their specific project at the orientation. Two weeks of this program should be spent working side by side with Kitumusote's director. Volunteers on this program will also have a chance to develop written and visual presentations (including film, audio, poster projects, etc.) about their volunteer work/project. All audio and visual equipment will be provided, including the use of an HD digital camera. In the final week, volunteers will have the option of taking a safari to Ngorongoro Crater and/or the Serengeti. A pre-departure briefing and write-up are also encouraged.
Gap year students also welcome to apply.
How to apply
Please send us an email with your name, age, email address, area of expertise/study, and level of academic qualification. We accept volunteers all year round, so notify us of your proposed travel dates. In your application, please send a one page essay that states your reasons for wanting to visit Tanzania, your special skills, and what program you would like to work under. Also please tell us about yourself.
Please send to:
You will be notified by email upon receipt of your application.